Skip Navigation

2019-2020 Student Ambassador Reflections


2019-2020 Student Ambassadors

We asked our 2019-20 Student of the Year and Student Ambassadors to reflect on their senior year of high school and share the impact Junior Achievement has had on their lives. Read about their JA experiences below and find out where each of them is headed after graduation!

Click each name to see their reflection!
Allenia Robinson, Student of the Year
Sandy Blanco, Student Ambassador
Angeline Celestino, Student Ambassador
Angie Galicia, Student Ambassador
Melisa Lezcano, Student Ambassador
Jasmin Lucero, Student Ambassador
Lia Sookdeo, Student Ambassador
Hana Tanovic, Student Ambassador
Kevin Zheng, Student Ambassador

Allenia Robinson, Student of the Year

Junior Achievement of New York’s 2019-2020 Student of the Year is Allenia Robinson, a graduating senior from Lincoln High School in Yonkers.

Allenia has been greatly inspired by the people she’s met through JA, including industry executives who are committed to empowering the next generation of leaders. Allenia most fondly remembers her conversations with JA New York Board Member and Director of Corporate Affairs at PayPal, Tyler Spalding. Tyler encouraged Allenia to always do what feels right and to go with the flow. Thanks to Tyler’s words of wisdom, Allenia understands the power of living in the moment and following her instincts.

Allenia will be attending the University at Albany this fall with a major in Business Economics and minor in Law, and we cannot wait to see the incredible things she accomplishes throughout her journey.

Sandy Blanco, Student Ambassador

Sandy Blanco, a graduating senior from Lincoln High School in Yonkers, is confident for the next steps in her life thanks to the networking and presentation skills she cultivated as a JA student. As a JA High School Hero, Sandy was able to jump out of her comfort zone and practice public speaking to inspire elementary students in her community.

Outside of school, Sandy has formed a network of business professionals who have opened her eyes to the many opportunities out there, and she has the tools she needs to step into the business world with confidence.

Sandy ultimately plans to become an immigration lawyer after attending Iona College as a business major beginning this fall.

Angeline Celestino, Student Ambassador

Graduating senior from Cathedral High School in Manhattan, Angeline Celestino is on her way to becoming the businesswoman she’s always dreamt of being thanks to JA New York. Her favorite JA program is the Business Plan Competition during which she and her team created a sustainable product and pitched their plan to top business executives. The strategies she learned and developed to produce and distribute their product will stay with Angeline as she enters the real world with one step ahead.

Angeline worked with one of JA’s most dedicated community volunteers, Bill McNamara, who offered insight and lessons that she will be able to put into practice in college and beyond. This fall, Angeline will attend the Fashion Institute of Technology with a major in Fashion Business Management where she will put all of her JA knowledge to use and continue to build her dream future.

Angie Galicia, Student Ambassador

Graduating senior from Brooklyn Preparatory High School, Angie Galicia is ready for the world beyond high school thanks to her increased confidence and communications skills she learned through JA. As a Student Ambassador, Angie loved getting to know her fellow Ambassadors and building a strong network of like-minded peers. She was able to jump out of her comfort zone with JA, through networking opportunities as well as High School Heroes, where she worked with a group of students she did not know well to inspire a class of elementary students.

Now, Angie feels empowered to try new experiences and meet new people. She has a strong understanding of what to expect in the real world and the confidence to know she can handle whatever comes her way.

In the fall, Angie will be attending Brooklyn College with a major in Psychology and possibly a minor in Sociology, where she will be able to create a future that gives her even more opportunities to learn.

Melisa Lezcano, Student Ambassador

Melisa Lezcano is graduating from the Academy of Finance and Enterprise in Queens this month. She credits JA for improving her social and networking skills that she will use with her in every aspect of adulthood. When it comes to technical skills, Melisa remembers JA Finance Park as the most impactful because she could see how money affects people in difference circumstances and how to budget accordingly.

Melisa is now confident that she has the skills and poise to take advantage of all the opportunities that are presented to her in the future.

Melisa will be attending Cornell University in the fall with a major in Biomedical Engineering and she is planning to become a doctor. We are so excited to see where Melisa’s skills take her.

Jasmin Lucero, Student Ambassador

Jasmin Lucero is graduating from Amityville Memorial High School on Long Island, and she credits JA for her newfound confidence and love for NYC. Through JA High School Heroes, Jasmin was able to solidify her dreams of becoming a teacher and gave her even more motivation to work toward a career in education.

Thanks to the exciting events in NYC she attended, Jasmin feels comfortable exploring things that are outside of her comfort zone, and she is confident in the network of peers and future colleagues she’s built.

In the fall, Jasmin will be attending Molloy College for a 5 year Social Studies Adolescent Education program that will allow her to be the incredible teacher we know she will be.

Lia Sookdeo, Student Ambassador

Lia Sookdeo is a graduating senior at Baldwin High School on Long Island. Thanks to JA, Lia is ready to apply everything she learned in JA to her life in the real world. Through speaking opportunities at JA events and JA High School Heroes, Lia has cultivated strong public speaking skills, and she learned to always go for what she wants, even if it’s scary.

She is grateful for the networking opportunities that JA has provided for her as well. Lia is confident that because of JA, she has a network of people who are there to support her throughout her journey.

Lia will be attending Molloy College in the fall with a major in Business Management. She plans to work in HR, and we know she will put her JA skills to great use to help other people.

Hana Tanovic, Student Ambassador

Hana Tanovic is a graduating senior from the Academy of Finance and Enterprise in Queens. As she reflects on her JA experience, she remembers most the moment she was leaving her High School Heroes program when a group of elementary students hugged her and asked her to continue teaching them. This moment proved to Hana how much of an impact she can have on the people in her community.

Through events as a Student Ambassador, Hana has enhanced her own networking and communication skills and now feels confident that she will be a strong leader in the future.

Hana will be attending SUNY New Paltz this fall with a dual major in Marketing and Business Administration in an accelerated 4+1 program. She is excited to graduate in 5 years with both a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree, and we can’t wait to see where this incredible opportunity takes her.

Kevin Zhang, Student Ambassador

Graduating from the High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies in Manhattan, Kevin Zheng is more confident in himself than ever before because of JA. Participating in JA High School Heroes multiple times, Kevin has practiced doing things outside of his comfort zone, worked on his public speaking skills, and learned to project his voice and thoughts more openly during class discussions. Kevin now feels more independent and knows how to take initiative to try new experiences and further his learning.

Kevin is excited to employ the soft skills he developed through JA programs throughout college and beyond. In the fall, he will be attending University of Rochester with a major in Biological Science. He hopes to then get a graduate degree and pursue a career in teaching science.

We can’t wait to see the teacher that Kevin becomes and all the things he accomplishes throughout his journey.

Select a button below to see how you or your organization can get involved with Junior Achievement of New York, Inc..

Donate Volunteer Request A Program

Any questions? Contact us!

We use cookies to provide you a personalized experience. How we do this is by analyzing user behavior on our site and sharing data with our advertising and analytics partners. You consent to our cookie policy if you continue to use this website.

I understand